HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee says present day West Virginia is not the one that first elected Third District Congressman Nick Rahall (D-03) in 1976.
“People don’t wear the same clothes from their youth to their adulthood. Things change along the way and, in this case, I think West Virginia voters clearly have said things have changed,” said Republican Congressman Greg Walden (OR-02) on Monday’s MetroNews Talkline.
Walden was in Huntington this past Saturday, in his role as NRCC chair, to be part of a fundraiser for Sen. Evan Jenkins (R-Cabell, 5) who switched political parties last year, from Democrat to Republican, to challenge Rahall.
The NRCC works to increase the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Rahall is currently serving his 19th term as the representative for the Third Congressional District and some political analysts have said they believe his Democratic seat is vulnerable this year.
Walden has served in the U.S. House, representing more than two-thirds of Oregon, since 1999.
“I think voters, especially right now, are in a mood for change especially when they see somebody who has, kind of, been there and gotten along and gone along and supported Obamacare and a few things along the way,” said Walden.
“They (the voters) go, ‘Maybe it’s just time for somebody new.'”
Jenkins is in his third term in the state Senate. If both he and Rahall are nominated in their respective primary elections in May, voters will decide between the two in the November General Election.